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First published in 1980, Isherwood’s overlooked last book is central to an understanding of his life and work.

WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION BY SIMON CALLOW

In 1939, as Europe approaches war, Isherwood, an instinctive pacifist, travels west to California, seeking a new set of beliefs to replace the failed Leftism of the thirties. There he meets Swami Prabhavananda, a Hindu monk, who will become his spiritual guide for the next thirty-seven years. Late-night drinking sessions, free love, and the glamour of writing for the Hollywood studios alternate with meditation, abstinence and the study of religious texts in a compelling tug of war between worldliness and holiness.

Reviews

Isherwood has reinvented the spirit of devotion for the modern reader. If I had to propose a candidate for canonization, Isherwood - wry, self-conscious, scrupulously honest - would get my vote

Edmund White, New York Times

A masterpiece of spiritual memoir

Los Angeles Times

What emerges is a record of a religious adventure that would have delighted Kierkegaard... Isherwood rejects conventional piety - all the humdrum apparatus of worship - in favor of a direct, even jaunty appreciation of how preposterous, certainly precarious, spirituality can be today.

New York Times

The sacred and the profane collide like never before

Giles Foden, Conde Nast Traveller

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Formats & editions

  • EBook

    9781446476178

    May 23, 2013

    Vintage Digital

    320 pages

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  • Paperback

    9780099561231

    August 1, 2013

    Vintage Classics

    320 pages

    RRP $19.99

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